Yo Adrian! (Bowie)

This off-season is barely a month old and already it is proving to be one for the books.  Between the musical chairs occurring with the incoming class (Maze and Evans), rumors of players transferring (Hayes), or going pro (Vasquez); the message boards have been full of chatter.  Oh and I forgot to mention that our prized recruit, Sean Mosley, has yet to academically qualify.

It is clear that the uncertainty that surrounds this offseason exists because of what happened on the court last season.  Almost all of the successes and failures rest on the shoulders of Greivis Vasquez. He either did not do enough or he did too much, depending on the game or depending on who you ask.  Simply put, he was all over the place.

Pushing Vasquez in practice throughout the season was Mr. Adrian Bowie.  It’s was a familiar role for Adrian.  Both he and Vasquez are alumni of Montrose Christian– a program that has quickly become Gary Williams’ feeder school.  In high school, Bowie and Vasquez brought out the best in each other.  We have yet to see that on the court in the ACC.

Personally, I like what I saw from Bowie.  He demonstrated two things that prove to me he will be a solid contributor with the Terps.

1.  He played excellent defense and was the best on-the-ball defender.

2.   He got better offensively as the season went along.

Coaches love good defense.  Gary Williams is no exception and you should expect to see Adrian Bowie on the court if for no other reason. His defense will serve as an example to the newcomers on how to earn playing time.  However, for Adrian to maintain his hold on a spot in the rotation; his offense will need to improve.

He showed flashes of being able to get the rack (he has a great first step), but I am not convinced that he can knock down the open look with consistency, or has mastered how to get open in the flex offense.  By all accounts, Tyree Evans and Sean Mosley will be able to fill the stat sheet, so Bowie will need to make a huge leap offensively this summer in order to stay ahead of those guys.

Truth be told, his best route to playing time would be to master the point guard position.  That is a stretch to say the least as his skills (like every other guard on the roster) lend itself to the shooting guard slot.  So Bowie will have to compete against six other players (Vasquez, Hayes, Tucker,  Milbourne, Mosley and Evans) for three starting slots.   Gary Williams will be playing lots of three guard sets but our small forwards (Tucker and Milbourne) are too small to play the four; so I am lumping them in with the guards.

There is tons of talent in that group, but the skills overlap rather than complement.  Unfortunately, for Mr. Bowie, none of his offensive abilities stand out amongst his peers.  In the final analysis, I am afraid that Bowie will have to carve out a niche for himself as a stopper and shut down defender.  If his offensive game can improve, he just might find himself at or near the top of the depth chart, but I don’t think that is realistic with the horses the Terps have coming in next year.

48 Comments

  1. Gerry- to answer your question from the previous post, I believe that the commenter just used the the “underscore” in the field for his name. Like this: ________________. As far as I know, it is not possible to leave the field blank.

  2. I don’t know if Bowie’s skills lend themslelves better to the SG position. Unless he can shoot the 3, they don’t in my opinion. Without a 3 point threat at the 2 position it is hard to win ACC games. I really hope Evans is the guy.

  3. Jeremy,

    You say that Milbourne is too small to play the 4. Could you say more about why you believe that?

    Shawn Marion was “too small” all those years with the Suns, but the Suns had a run-gun attack that out-quicked everyone (the Suns would likely have won the NBA last year had David Stern not benched key players for leaving the bench).

    If the long-armed Milbourne could play 20 minutes at the 4, then the Terps could have lots of their best players on the court at the same time, and out-quick lots of teams.

  4. If Adrian can really improve his offense during the off season, it will have a huge impact on this team. In fact, if I was GW, I’d tell Adrian he has a shot to win the PG position if he comes in and proves he’s the man. I’d let him no in no uncertain terms that GV does not get handed the starting job next year. I know everyone is saying GV is the only sure thing and that the other four slots are open, but I’m not so sure about it. GV will obviously see major minutes, but I wouldn’t just hand him the PG position. Not after what happened last year. GV needs to earn it like everyone else. Just my opinion.

  5. Yo! I gots a few things to say about Adrian….

    First off – I think GW was too harsh in coaching AB. GW would yank AB out after every miscue rather than leaving him in and coaching him up.

    Why is that? I speculate that it’s because careless play was a recurring issue for AB in practice, too. Bowie relies too much on his athleticism, which he could get away with in HS, but not in Div 1 college hoops. As a result, he was the poster child for “not playing smart basketball.”

    You could really see it with how AB plays away from the basketball. For example, as part of a few of the TO bonanazas, I remember AB waiting for the basketball to arrive to him instead of going to get it. The defender would step in front of the ball and – presto – another TO. On defense, he would wait too long to reposition himself to provide help and then make a last second swipe at the ball at the top of the key – –> another cheap foul. How many times did AB have 3 or 4 fouls after just 5 minutes? Even with the b-ball, when AB was tasked with bringing the ball up the court, he would frequently lally-gag rather than focus on the task at hand.

    Finally, I disagree with Jeremy in regards to Bowie’s “natural” position. I say he is a PG. But he needs to learn that the careless ball handling he got away with in HS doesn’t work at this level. Drill it in his head to “Take care of the basketball!” and the rest will take care of itself.

    Finally (and I really mean it this time), don’t forget Dino “Splinters” Gregory. Dino was odd man out of the rotation last year, but he had great HS credentials, and I would expect that (as is usually the case) he will be ready to challenge for minutes as a Soph. He’s just as tall as Milbourne, but 20 pounds heavier.

    Milbourne (or Gregory) serving spot time at the 4 is OK. Milbourne for 20 minutes at the 4, however, is too much because the kid just doesn’t rebound well and the Terps would get killed on the boards against the better competition. Gregory, however, may fit that role nicely.

  6. Gary may very well run an offense with overlapping positions. I can see two PGs or two SG on the floor at the same time. We keep talking in terms of “Vaz will be running the one so no time for player X” etc.

    With all the guard type players I can see just two post guys and the other three spots all being from the guard rotation. Milbourne, Tucker, Mosley, Evans, Vaz, Hayes, Bowie…lots of people even for three slots. If you are pressing all the time you will need to go deeper.

  7. EdDC,

    I just don’t see how a 6′ 7″ 208 lb guy can bang down low in the ACC. He will get out-muscled consistently. Unless he puts on 20 lbs and/or grows 2 inches; Milbourne’s limit is small forward.

  8. Well GW better learn small ball over the summer and Dupree better lose 30 lbs. With this turnover laden lineup the shooting might want to get better as well. GV will not have an issue with the new 3pt line as he shot 6 feet beyond it anyway. So when to they quit waiting on Mosley to qualify and sign another JUCO?

  9. Al V- The “turn over laden line-up” was last year. You can’t go through life (college ball) looking in the rear view mirror.
    Forget it…..Dupree isn’t likely to lose 30 lbs. 10-20 maybe. How did you arrive at 30?

    WTF is “small ball” .

    WTF is wrong with JUCO’s? We’re recruiting players where the live or have been is not as important as where they are going?

    BTW, I watched GV hoist a lot of 3’s and rarely did
    he launch from 6 ft behind the 3pt line. In fact, in most instances he seemed to have a keen sense of where the launch pad actually was.

    Hey Jeremy or Gregg – What’s to prevent AL V (or others) from using the “underscore” to launch a diatribe et al against one of us so we don’t know who they are? Am I missing something here?

    I know you can block posters, so why would we give them a veil or shield ?

  10. I have never understood the stigma attached to Jucos. Especially in this era of one-and-done.

    What is the difference of recruiting some kid that is going to be at your program one year as a freshman or one year as a junior?

  11. I agree, Ricksterps. I think the stigma is because jucos often had issues with grades or behavior which kept them from being admitted into a 4-year school. They are often seen as “damaged goods” and “risks.”

    Also, I always hear announcers say it takes a full season for a juco to adjust to the college game. Although it seems to me that the adjustment from high school to college would be greater. And a juco is more physically and emotionally mature as a junior than as a freshman.

    I see Kansas is taking two of the top jucos in the country and Kentucky is taking one. Arizona wanted Tyree Evans. I can’t remember UNC or Dook ever signing a juco but the practice seems to be picking up.

    Nobody ever talks about Jamar Smith anymore. He was a great juco pickup for us. In the 2004 ACC championship victory over the Pukies, he led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

  12. Gerry- if someone starts habitually posting anonymously (i.e. 2 or 3 times) with offensive material; I will start blocking them from the site. To date, I haven’t seen anything that warranted being blocked.

    I’m guessing that the anonymous poster in question basically was asking something that they weren’t quite comfortable identifying themselves over. The 18-year old having sex with a 15-year old is a grey area for some, so the hesitation is understandable.

  13. The juco stigma is about more than “bad behavior” and “risk,” although it can be that. The stigma is mostly left over from a past era. Before the one-and-done phenomena, a juco signing was an indication that your program was in trouble, that you can’t get players the regular way and you have to go juco in desperation.

    However, today it is harder to get four year guys. So if you only get guys for a couple years anyway, get them as juniors and seniors rather than freshmen and sophmores, as Ricksterps and Samster point out. It is a way to balance your program and fill unexpected holes.

    Of course, some of the truly elite programs like Dook still will not get their hands dirty going the juco route. That’s another reason why it is so much fun to beat them with jucos.

  14. Jeremy – Sounds judicious to me. You (and Gregg) are the keeper of this gate.

    Hey, maybe the anonymous poster might have been AL V? You know how uncomfortable he gets talking about Terp issues or anything else confrontational.

  15. I think we need to lay off Al V. It’s verging on blog bullying–not that Al V can’t give as good as he gets in a cyber pile-on.

    For what it’s worth, I think his postings are often better grounded in reality than the magical thinking a lot of us Soupers have succumbed to in the off season.

  16. I love Bowie. His energy and enthusiasm but not his turnovers (I think he had more TO’s than assists). Plus he’s always wanted to be a Terp. It will be fun to watch him grow in the program.

    I’m probably a little late with this, but GV has filed papers with the NBA. He has not hired an agent and will not. He wants to be able to get evaluated, get feedback and perhaps attend a pre draft camp. Supposedly he’s told GW that he will be back for his junior season. Which is smart, his turnovers should be down with a shooter/finisher like Evans on the court with him, and eventually Gilchrist on the court with him.

  17. DBR: The inside dopester who keeps giving. Thanks for this.

  18. I will never not put my name on the post so blame someone else. Small ball is running 3 or 4 guards with maybe a power forward or two small forwards. It was usually done at the lower division since all big time power players went to big schools. Dupree is 260 so the 30 lbs is where most kids his size are more athletic and faster. Since this is a small team he will have to be faster and more athletic there fore 30 lbs. JUCO’s are what they are, but they are only a 2 year solution. They are indoctrinated into another system and have one year to learn and one year to play. A HS kid has the same issue but they can have up to 3 years to play. A one and done kid is still not a good choice but a JUCO is a stretch.

  19. I heard the same thing DB-Russ. He will be told he is a late second round at the very best.

    He really doesn’t have a position in the NBA right now. Maybe over the next two years he will refine his game and climb to the lower first round. I think that is his best case scenario.

  20. Ricks, the best case scenario is that Gilchrist proves to be a Kevin Durant type talent, Mosely and Evans light it up from downtown, Burney/Dupree become agressive rebounders and Milbourne and GV have lots of chances to slash at the basket. In this scenario, the Terps storm through the next season and the General looks like a Generalissimo, averaging 10 assists and 14 points a game. He declares and goes in the middle of the first.

    …I love off-season dreaming.

  21. Thanks for the knowledge, DB-Russ.

    I will post my thoughts as soon as it is announced officially. It sounds like it is a not a big deal. It reminds me of when Strawberry and Ibekwe declared after their junior season and returned to the program.

  22. Yup, sounds exactly like Strawberry and Ibekwe.

  23. I guess that is the way it works these days in college hoops. The option it declare for the draft without hiring and agent allows kids to check their draft position and that is pretty valuable when it comes to guys trying to make decisions about the NBA.

  24. This is just to remind you that my boy Greivis will be cutting down the nets at the 2009 ACC Tournament.

  25. Kaze – Both my wife Kathy Ireland and I think you are a brilliant prognosticator and not subject to delusions or fantasy at all. :)

  26. Frustrated Fan. Ok. I personally will cut AL V some slack however, I heartily disagree….. but it’s more than a strecth that his posts “are grounded more in reality than our magical thinking”. I believe most of the Soupers are realist and grounded in practicality. We try hard to ‘loyalists” in good times and bad times with our Terps. Al is an ” I told you so person” in the style of the ubiquitous MMQ =
    Monday Morning Quarterback.

    There’s some things he just doesn’t get like “student/athletes” being a bit of a facade re college basketball players. In his own words he doesnt’ even credit a Juco with being anything but a novitiate and possible 1 year contributor. Hey, the Juco probably got “overlooked”. Those that are ready and make the conversion to D1 are recruited by our coaches who know more about a players ability and possible contributions than we do.

    I suppose he and I have had the most “barking” at each other, hopefully in a respectable and light-hearted way. However, most of his posts, like the recent one above, seem to me to be condescending ( e.g., I know you don’t know so here’s the way is) and unforgiving.

    It is what it is….but as the commercial goes>>>>
    I will try harder.

    Thanks for your input

  27. I think GV will find that he would not go in the first two rounds of the NBA draft now (That might be an embarassment to him if he thinks otherwise). He will need to improve in a lot of areas and have a hell of a year next year to go in the first two rounds. In all fairness, he didn’t have much help this past year and that really put a lot of pressure on his game and made him force a lot of situations. With the addition of some more scoring and ball handling type players I think his game will be able to elevate and next year we should see a huge improvement in his decision making with more options/less carrying the team on his back.

  28. Gerry, I don’t except myself from the “magical thinking” tendency. It’s just that Al V’s posts too often treated like chum in the water. His “small ball” analysis was dead on, IMHO. His disgruntlement over the academic and citizenship qualifications of recent recruits deserves respect. I tend to agree with him on this score, but, like the rest of the Soup, I’m so starved for a winning season, I’m willing to swallow my doubts about the Evanses of the NCAA world and applaud GW for doing what I’ve criticized him for not doing: paying attention to recruiting. Still, Al V has a point.

  29. KCali – It was refreshing to read your post. You’re so right that GV didn’t have a lot of help and that caused him to make decisions, another time or another mix of players, he wouldn’t have made.
    As I pointed out many times, all too often the terp offense seemed to be working some sort of “hierarchial” system of who to pass to and who would do the shooting. GV is certainly capable of having a “ACC First Team” . I really believe, if he stays (pray that he does) we’ll see a different, even better” …….GV.

    Frustrated Fan _ I reluctantly accept your defense of AL V. The “small ball” capsule doesn’t really seem to fit. We have also had some reasonably good successes with JUCO xfers. No need for the
    “where’s the beef” mantra.

    I fail to see Al V’s “point” but will stand by my earlier post and cut him some slack. Sure would like to seem him lace his commentary with some humor and benevolence.

  30. Why would NBA scouts go through the trouble of scouting and ranking players like Ibekwe and Strawberry and Vasquez who have openly declared that they do not intend to actually play in the NBA yet?
    also,
    If a player enters the draft and by some miracle gets picked by a team in the late first round lets say, is that player subject to some sort of penalty if they decide to return to their University?
    Concurrently,
    If that player is picked, does that negate their amateur status?
    Finally, following the logic of the first question, does Vasquez honestly think that where ever he gets placed in the ‘draft rankings’ will be a fair representation of where he might get placed if he declared with an agent (i.e. for real)?

  31. Jacob – I believe the NBA has a panel which is responsible for evaluating a kid like GV and assessing his probable draft status so he can make a call. It is not the team’s scouts who obviously are paid by individual teams and obviously are busy doing their team’s work. This is unlike the other pro leagues as fas as I know. I think I have that structure correct and am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

  32. sorry, I left out a paragraph from the post above. The NBA has a pre draft workout where presumably these evaluations occur. Underclassmen can go to the predraft camp, get evaluated adn then still pull out of the draft before it occurs as long as they havent signed with an agent.

  33. For a point of reference, Tyler Hansborough was ranked 18-24.

    I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to go through the process when it is obvious you will not go in the first round. Vaz will be told he most likely would not get drafted at all.

    Last year Singletary put his name in and was told he would be a second round pick.

  34. Gerry, I think you may be “overworking” the rabbit ears a bit, know what I “mean?”

    Re Bowie: In high school, he was sort of a lesser-skilled, overshadowed guy as an underclassmen, who turned into a team leader and primary ballhandler by his senior year. Often players seem to mimic their high school progressions in college, so I see Bowie having a nice, solid season next year (with maybe a random game-winning basket or two) followed by a stellar junior season and then a superb senior year. I think he’s gonna be an all-time fan favorite. He’s captain layups.

  35. Makes ya wonder what Shavlik Randolph learned in his pre draft camps LOL.

    Jacob Underclassmen that have not signed with an agent have until 6/16/08 to withdraw from the draft and maintain their college eligibility. I’m sure that between Memorial Day and 6/16 we’ll read about several underclassmen withdrawing their names and staying at their respective schools.

  36. DraftExpress.com is reporting that Hansbrough is testing the waters along with Danny Green but that Lawson is returning to school, as he is not satisfied with where he’s being projected to be drafted—in the late first to early second round. I’ve emailed DraftExpress to see if they’ll tell me anything about GV. My contact in the Baltimore media said that they have nothing to report on GV at this time. It was an unusually formal email from him. Hmmmm.

  37. RT Travaloni- Perhaps ! Time will tell.

    Luck Horseshoe, DiamondbackRuss – Thanks. Real good commentary.
    Is it possible an NBA team would take GV for his
    “enthusiasm, abilitly to excite a crowd, he’d have guys that can catch a pass, overlook his current scoring inconsistencies and possible ability to puts butts in the stands?

    GV is not the greatest player we’ve had but he does bring excitement, flair and gets (some) of the others around him looking better. Also, given the right circumstances he can turn a game around.

  38. Gerry,

    I think you are looking at GV through Terp glasses. We love him because he is a fiery guy that plays hard. That ain’t gonna cut it at the NBA level. He needs to improve his outside shooting and be able to shoot off the dribble. Right now he is mostly a lay-up machine. He uses his length to take smaller guards to the hole. He has two years to develop these other skills.

    The trend now in the NBA is for PG is the smaller really quick guys. Chris Paul, Steve Nash etc

  39. I doubt GV will project as a PG in the NBA…In fact, I tend to think Hayes will be the #1 PG for the Terps next year.

    IMO, GV has the #1 asset that it takes to make it in the NBA (or the NCAA) – HUGE confidence. The kid can take 20 shots, miss all twenty, and think that something must be wrong with the ball.

  40. If ability to excite the crowd was the main trait necessary to make it in the NBA, maybe the turtle should apply for draft eligibility! :)

  41. I see at ESPN that Shamari Spears of BC is transferring to Charlotte to be closer to home. There is an undisclosed family illness situation. And K.C. Rivers has decided to stay at Clemson for his senior year.

  42. Yo folks. Sorry I’ve been out of the loop. Was doing the Caps page endlessly for the past few weeks. I’ve obviously not been missed with all the great debates going on. I love it. I’ll be back fulltime once the embarrassing Wiz are officially outsted! Anyway, my thoughts on GV going pro are the same as all of you. There’s no way he’d get drafted, but there are some agents out there likely putting delusions into his head. That happens all the time and that’s what we have to worry about when it comes to whether or not he’s going to make a mistake.

    You can always find someone to tell you you’ll be a higher pick than you’ll actually be. Hopefully he’s not listening to that crap and actually works on improving his game.

    As for the anonymous posting, I’m with Jeremy. I haven’t seen much posted on this site throughout the years that would offend too many people. We want to hear everyone’s opinion whether we agree or not! But if anyone crosses that line, we’ll deal with it.

  43. Here’s a link to an article that discusses where Bobby Maze may end up playing. Below that is more info on Tyree Evans with a buttload of comments from his Motlow JuCo coach.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/college/recruiting/

  44. DRuss, thanks for posting that.

    I’m slowly being won over by the the positive things that Evans’s most recent Juco coach has to say. Still, it’s his Juco coach and so he has a vested interest in putting Evan in the most positive light.

  45. Ok, I’ve been out of the loop for the past few days and see the GV-to-the-NBA talk has picked up again. GV’s testing the waters is a good thing. Maybe someone on that panel will get through to him that he’s not NBA material, at least not yet.

    Let’s see what GV does this year. If he cuts down on the TOs and plays like First Team All ACC player, he’ll have plenty of NBA scouts attention next spring. If he also shows tremendous leadership to go along with all that fiery stuff, and then goes on to cut down the nets a la the Kaztrodamus prediction, GV will have them lined up behind the Terp bench salivating at the prospects of drafting him.

  46. According to the article DRuss pointed out Maze is going to end up at big time program, not ACC big time but nonetheless. How come he can qualify with summer classes elsewhere but not here. It is almost like Clark sitting out a semester at Villanova and now is a starter. How can other big time schools do that and the Terps can’t, or won’t. I am just asking not blaming this time.

  47. With Maze it seems more of a won’t than can’t. He didn’t pass the necessary classes to be admitted. You then have the option of waiting to see if he can do that in Summer school. UMD chose not to do that.

    You are taking a chance if you wait on him since there is the possibility he will fail the classes again. Then you are without a scholarship player for that year.

    The blame lays on the player for not getting himself qualified for the scholarship.

  48. Al V: Only the coaches could be 100% sure about this but my understanding is that the staff wasn’t willing to pass on Tyree Evans while waiting until the end of August to find out IF Maze would qualify.
    Yup, the end of August. Maze has that much work to do.

    As much as I, and lots of Terp fans would want a PG with Maze’s abilites we’d all be furious if he didn’t qualify and we later learned that while waiting him out we passed on Evans. In that scenario we’d have lost out on two highly sought after JuCo’s and LORD KNOWS after watching last season we need someone that can score the basketball.

    Also, keep in mind that in the wake of Len Bias’ death and the bubbling up of academic issues that players on that ’86 team had, the school made it’s academic entry requirements more stringent for student-athletes.

    As for Clark, while he did start the first 17 games of the season, he was limited after that because of “fatigue issues”. Hopefully they can get that diagnosed and the young man can have a good 2008-2009 season.

    Here is a Sept. 2005 article from the WaPo describing what happened with Clark and the Terps

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090801677.html


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